THE Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved N65.39 billionn in foreign and local denominations to execute power projects in the country.
The Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the virtual extraordinary FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers, Presidential villa, Abuja.
The Minister explained that the extraordinary session was to ensure that the country begins 2022 on a clean slate in the area of electricity supply.
He said that he presented 16 memoranda which were all approved by the council, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done more than its predecessors to ensure that Nigerians experience improved electric power supply.
According to him “FEC approved $65,606,420, €15,152,651 and N31,360,272,397 respectively for the award of contract for the construction of a 2X60MVA 132/33 KVA substation at Ikare-Akoko and 2×132 KV Lines Bay Extension at Oke-Agbe, Ondo State at the cost of $9,9928,912.80 and N2,037,076,700.00.
“Supply of 65 Hilux vehicles and 20 SUVs nationwide at the cost of N2,741,787,500.00. Procurement of 1,500 drums of transformer oil nationwide at N322,500,000.00. Supply of 19 Sergi transformer explosion and fire protection devices nationwide at €5,326,663,70 and N347,629,092.57.
“Construction of 142KV double circuit line in Ikere-Ijesa-Isu-Ilupeju towns, Ado-Ekiti State, $30,880,393.82 and N8,344,898,490.86. Construction of New National Control Center at Osogbo, Osun State at N1,168,318,638.68.
“Construction of New National Control Center at Gwagwalada, FCT at N1,161,915,489.76. Supply of 180 of Grounding Equipment nationwide at €686,043.50 and N41,378,244.25. Additional work on 330KV double line to Mando substation in Kaduna at N893,011,356.42.
“Construction of 2X60MVA, 132/33KV substation at Ogbomosho and 2X 132KVLine Bags Extension at Ganmo substation at Ilorin at €5,274,245.00 and N457,708,341.02.”
He added that the Council also approved contracts for design, manufacture, supply at N4,325,652,643.50. Installation and commissioning of transmission lines of 330/132/33KV Lekki, Lagos. LOT 1 and LOT 2 at N2,812,767,499.00.
The Council also approved the “Augmentation for the construction of 2X60MVA 132/33 KVA substation at Malumfashi and 4X132KV Line Bats at Kankara at Katsina at N176,517,897.88.
“Supply and delivery of 40 each of primary and secondary injection test sets nationwide at €3,865,700.00 and N212,386,640.00”
While noting that the federal government has ordered new power equipment, the minister assured Nigerians that they will soon see the outcome of the ongoing investments.
Aliyu who lamented that the current power generation is about 5,000mw also decried what he termed “the weak transmission grid”.
Speaking about the memos, he said, “Today, I presented to council 16 memos, which I seek for council’s approval and the council graciously approved all of them. At this point, let me say what these approvals will do to the nation’s electricity supply.
“As we’re all aware, the major problem we’re having in the Electricity Supply Industry is to be able to evacuate sufficient electricity and distribute it. That is to say, we have a very weak transmission grid and distribution segment of the value chain.
“We may not be having many problems with generation. So, unless we’re able to strengthen the electricity grid, which is nationwide, and to expand, and to be able to evacuate what the grid can take to consumers, we will have a lot of problems ahead of us.
“So, what we’re doing currently through various and several interventions is to be able to repair the grid by constructing new transmission lines, bringing in new equipment to replace the old ones at our substations. So, that will release more capacity to the distribution and leading to the customers.
“So, the operational capacity, as you all know now is hovering around 5,000 megawatts and the transmission and distribution.
“So, these projects that we brought to council today and got approvals are all geared towards strengthening the willing capacity of the transmission and towards distribution, even though as you all know, the distribution segment of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry is been privatised, but we cannot fold our arms and allow them to continue not to do much to evacuate what the transmission can bring.
“But as it is now, even the transmission is not that strong. So, we need to put more investment into the transmission so that we can improve the capacity of the TCN to be able to take up enough electricity from the generation.
“So, these memos, although 16 of them, they’re all geared towards achieving what I’ve just explained.”